The most vulnerable in what are certainly uncertain times

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The entire world is in quarantine measures of various stages. It’s as surreal a thought as they come. Some countries are beginning to lift those restrictions – slowly, carefully, uncertain of what will happen as a result. Ireland is at the stage of deciding what to lift, what to re-open, and when.

There are only a few certainties in this very uncertain time: 

  • If restrictions are lifted too soon, we could see another surge of infections which would result in a reintroduction of quarantine measures.
  • Until a vaccine or treatment is developed for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID19), the most at-risk groups will have to continue to quarantine, or as it’s coined here in Ireland, cocoon.

One thing not being openly discussed by Irish officialdom is that the older members of our society are NOT the only high risk group who will also need to continue cocooning. 

There are questions which now need answered:

  1. What of children and adults like my son Brendan Bjorn? Profoundly disabled, incapacitated, medically complex and fragile loved ones who depend upon full time nursing-level care to survive are at great risk from this devastating virus.
  2. How will they be best protected once quarantine is lifted?
  3. How can they be protected in their own home when other family members are no longer in quarantine?
  4. Is it even possible to have one family member back out in society, even in the germ-zone we all know schools to be, coming home daily into the same environment as the family member who is cocooning?
  5. And what of the family carer in this scenario: What are carers to do as they go between family members – cocooning and not – to protect the most vulnerable? What are they to do to protect their own health in this scenariofor if they go down, the entire ship will surely sink. 

The past few weeks have been dark times for many of us. Some of us can thankfully see the light at the end of the tunnel as the talk of lifting restrictions begins.

But for those of us living in the world who are at high risk, nothing will have changed with the lifting of restrictions for society. If fact, we may feel more isolated and forgotten as the world carries on without us while we hide away in our homes, afraid, worried, trying to avoid an invisible foe which could easily take what is most precious to us. Please don’t forget us.

Yes, the above questions must be answered, fully, in detail, and without political spin or condescending vagueness. And once answered, help needs to be given for all members of society.

The most vulnerable must not once again be left on the sacrificial altar. 

 

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